Kia Optima Hybrid Review

2012 Kia Optima Hybrid

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Kia Optima Hybrid Review

Two weeks ago, two men went to our place and dropped off a white Kia Optima Hybrid, which looked like a sports car to me. And I quickly fell in love with its awesomeness!

I always hear about hybrid cars on TV. I pretty much know how different it is from regular cars and it isn’t really a big deal for me cause I feel like I’m already used to the regular type of car. There’s no need for me to go checking out hybrid cars, right? But my experience of actually being able to drive it was so amazing that it made me want to have one.

When the gentleman that dropped the Kia Optima Hybrid off at my place handed me the keys, he told me to remember that just because I couldn’t hear the car’s engine doesn’t mean it’s off. And with that he started telling me about the features of the car while I slowly drove the car around our apartment complex so I can get a feel of it. It ran so smoothly and was very quiet. I was told that the car wasn’t using gas.

Here’s a photo of the front dashboard of the Kia Optima Hybrid while my hubby was driving it.

Kia Optima Hybrid Review on Bay Area Mommy

The Kia Optima Hybrid has lots of controls so you can set it in a way that’s most comfortable and convenient for you.

There are 2 air conditioning controls so you can have different settings for the driver’s side and the passenger’s side. There are also 2 buttons (not in photo) beside the gear handle that allows you to set the temperature for the driver’s seat and the passenger seat. This feature will definitely come in handy during the winter months when it’s too cold and you need a warm seat to make you more comfortable.

The part that’s blocked by my hubby’s hand is where the input jacks are. You can connect using AUX or USB and I loved the fact that when we connect our iPod Touch using the USB cable, the screen shows us our song list so we didn’t need to operate from the iPod itself. It also charges the iPod so that’s another plus!

Here’s a photo of the back and front rows with my son’s new car seat installed.

Kia Optima Hybrid Review on Bay Area Mommy

As I mentioned when I did a review on the Kia Sorento, any car that’s bigger than our small Versa car is something I consider spacious. I love that whenever I decide to sit beside my son, I won’t need to squeeze myself in.

I had enough space to move whenever I need to fix or prepare something for my son, like when we went to Gilroy Gardens to celebrate my birthday. Since it was about an hour’s drive from San Jose, my son got anxious and uncomfortable because he doesn’t like long drives (but I guess that goes for most kids).

So I need to make sure that I can easily reach for and give him his snacks, drinks and toys. And since the front row has controls for moving the seats and the backrests forward, backward, and up and down, I just easily moved the front passenger seat forward so I can have more space for my son’s stuff.

Kia Optima Hybrid Review on Bay Area Mommy Kia Optima Hybrid Review on Bay Area Mommy

The photos above show that even the back row of the Kia Optima Hybrid has controls for temperature so you don’t need to suffer if it’s too hot and the people in front decide to hog all the A/C. And as you can see in the photo on the right (though it may not be clear), you can also set your seat to go warm if you want to.

And one of the highlights of the Kia Optima Hybrid car (my son’s favorite feature I should say) is the sun roof.

The day this car was dropped off at our place was the day my hubby bought my son a new front-facing car seat so he’s not yet used to seeing so many things while in the car. We would see his face light up every time we open up the sun roof. Here is my little one enjoying some “exciting” sun roof time when we got home one evening.

Kia Optima Hybrid Review on Bay Area Mommy Kia Optima Hybrid Review on Bay Area Mommy

I think it’s important for me to mention that for the whole week that we were using the car, we not even once needed to go fill up at a gas station. Granted, we only had to drive to the office, the church and Gilroy Gardens. But then, that’s really just where we normally go anyway. Hubby says if we just used it to go to work, the tank would probably just need to be filled after 3 weeks.

All in all, my experience in driving and riding the Kia Optima Hybrid was amazing and awesome.

I love that it has so many features that makes the experience great for whoever drives it.  The base price for a 2012 Kia Optima Hybrid is at $25,700 and you can opt for additional features based on your need. The specific Optima Hybrid that we drove for a week had all the additional features so it costs about $35,000. Check out to see the full list of features.


*I received a 2012 Kia Optima Hybrid for one week to facilitate this review. No compensation was received for this post. All opinions are my own. All photos except the first one are mine. See my Disclosure Policy.


Kia Optima Hybrid Review — 71 Comments

  1. This looks like it would be the ideal car for me. With the little bit of very local driving I do, I probably wouldn’t have to fill up but every couple of months! LOL.

  2. sounds like awesome gas mileage! and with the prices of gas it would really help! looks like a great car!

  3. Kia has really come a long way. I remember when Kia vehicles first came out, they were boring and unreliable. Now, their vehicles are elegantly styled and earn high marks in reliability. I’d definitely consider a Kia Optima next time I’m in the market for a new car. Thanks for the review.

  4. This is pretty amazing! I love all the features it has and the quietness of the care seems like it would be awesome for me!

  5. we test drove this car because we loved out 2009 optima, unfortunately it was out of our price range.

  6. We are a SUV type of family but this car looks AWESOME! It looks roomy and sporty at the same time! I know my hubby would love it plus it a hybrid making it even better in my book!

  7. I love how this car looks on the outside! It does look like a sports car. I have never driven a hybrid, but I hope that our next vehicle will be a hybrid. I love how you can control the temperature where ever you are sitting. I also love that you can connect your ipod and use the car to listen to it and it is being charged while it is connected. Thank you for the great review!

  8. my husband talks about these all the time. From your pictures and review it makes us want one that much more. I know you hated giving it up after a week. It’s a shame they wouldn’t let you keep it or at least buy it at a discount since it was now a used car lol

  9. I love the Kia. I had one and someone was texting and totaled it. I’m now driving the “Mimi Mobile” which is a van I do not like. Having a hybrid would be great!
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  10. I’d be afraid to drive a car to review. I’ve only driven a few cars and it takes a while to get used to them.

  11. I plan on test driving one soon.. As seen from the advertisments I would enjoy one of these. My concern is space, romminess for the passengers and trunk. We shall see but like your review. Thx

  12. I am looking for a new car and I think I will go and do a test drive. I like your review.

  13. Great review! Sounds like a great little car. A friend of mine bought a Kia Rio and she loves it. I love this Optima Hybrid though! It looks sporty 🙂

  14. Thank you for this review. It is very imformative and helped open my eyes to choosing a hybrid next time. This car looks very. I am not in the market yet for a new car but I will hold onto this knowledge. I wouldn’t mind a couple of men dropping by my place with a Kia Optima Hybrid. 🙂

  15. Excellent pictures they really captures the faetures. I love the inside of that car.

  16. I’m quit a fun of Hybrid cars and this one sounds interesting, thank you for the review.

  17. This sounds like a great vehicle. I love the heated seat option and the two air conditioning controls. It also looks like it is room enough. Thank you so much for sharing this